Protests that have rocked the Arab world in recent weeks are now hitting Syria.
Emergency laws in the country have banned all forms of demonstrations for nearly 50 years. But that hasn't stopped thousands of residents from taking to the streets this month.
For almost 40 years, Bashar al Assad and his family have ruled the Syrian nation with an iron grip.
Now the president is possibly facing a threat against his regime like never before.
"This is worst carnage in Syria since 1982 when Bashar Assad's father, Hafez al Assad, killed 20,000 people to try and put down a Muslim Brotherhood uprising," CBN News Sr. Editor John Waage explained.
The southern city of Daraa is the crosshairs of Syrian security forces.
The network Al Jazeera reported fierce battles between police and protesters.
Disturbing video surfaced on YouTube showing dead people on the streets of Daraa. Others can be seen lying on the ground bleeding.
The Arabic channel Al Arabiya claimed some 100 people have been killed in fighting between police and protesters.
Daraa is symptomatic of many cities across the Middle East today -- poor, Islamic, too much unemployment and too little freedom.
"Syria is similar to what we saw in uprising in Tunisia, and Egypt and in Libya for that matter, in that the dictators, the Arab despots, are keeping huge sums of money for themselves, stowing them away in Swiss banks," Waage said. "And these young people who have a hard time finding jobs are moving to the towns away from the rural areas because they have no jobs and no opportunity, and that breeds the resentment that we see in places like Syria."
Syrians are looking at a region that's unraveling before their eyes. From Algeria to Egypt from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, waves of protests against autocratic dictators.
Experts wonder if Syria will be the next Arab regime to fall. For now, all eyes are on Friday.
A Facebook group called The Syria Revolution 2011 is calling for rallies at mosques across the country Friday on a "Day of Dignity."